Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Australia > Open Rescues

March 5, 2005

Police Help Animal Liberation Victoria Remove 55 Sick Birds From Factory Farm for Treatment at Werribee Veterinary Hospital

Over 120 dead, decomposing bodies were found littered on the floor at Parkhurst Farm Shed in Little River

Police last night responded quickly to Animal Liberation Victoria's (ALV) appeal for help at the Parkhurst Farms Chicken Factory in Little River outside Werribee. ALV's animal rescue team entered one of the sheds on the property around 10:00 pm last night and found a shed littered with over 120 dead bodies. The birds were only four days old and many were crippled, ill and unable to stand. The rescue team set up a mobile sick bay inside the shed and began collecting the fragile and dying birds. After gathering up over 50 in a short time they rang the police for help. The owner or manager of Parkhurst Farms were not on the property to give assistance to the birds.

Sergeant Mick Brien and two other officers from Werribee Police Station arrived shortly after. On arrival police conducted their own inspection of the property taking photographic evidence. The Police were distressed at witnessing the dead and dying birds and Sergeant Brien phoned the RSPCA for assistance. The RSPCA refused to attend. The police then arranged for ALV to remove the sick and dying hens from the property and escorted them to Werribee Vet Clinic. Sargeant Brien also made calls to arrange an RSPCA and Wyndham City Council Inspection the following morning, while also trying to contact the owner of the property for questioning.

ALV President, Patty Mark said this morning: "We are delighted in the way the Victorian Police handled this urgent cruelty matter and are grateful for their assistance in rescuing the birds and making sure they had proper veterinary assistance. Unfortunately the RSPCA not only refused to attend and assist the police on the night, they have failed to do an urgent inspection this morning taking other very ill and dehydrated birds to a vet or to even contact the owner. They only told ALV they would look at the place "next week".

The four sheds on the property are filled with birds who are now only 4 days old, yet those we rescued suffered a range of painful injuries and conditions such as: respiratory distress, suspected broken limbs, bleeding wounds and deformities of the beaks and limbs. We collected over 120 dead bodies and there were more, there was absolutely no one in attendance from Parkhurst Farms to help the sick and injured birds. The sheds were filled four days ago, but already the floor was swarming with little insects and we also saw mice. This was our 17th inspection on this property in a fourteen month investigation and we have now taken over 200 birds to vets for urgent treatment. We consistently find rotting corpses in the litter and dying birds left to suffer. The public will be eating these birds in 7 weeks and ALV believe conditions on this property, especially the number of rotting birds we continually find being eaten by others, present a serious health risk.

The question must be asked, if the police and members of ALV can see the suffering and know it is wrong and illegal, why can't the RSPCA? The RSPCA are enshrined in the Victorian Goverment's cruelty legislation to protect these tiny birds. Once again they have failed in their duty to protect all creatures great and small, and it is time they were made accountable."